ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday registered over 8,000 Covid-19 cases in a single day, its highest daily number of infections since the pandemic began, as the government widens restrictions to curb the fast-spreading Omicron variant in the country.
According to the statistics released by National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Friday morning, at least 8,183 Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours (Thursday) nudged the positivity ratio to 11.92 percent whereas 30 people breathed their last due to the virus.
Pakistan had posted the previous single-day infections record only on last Friday (January 21) when at least 7,678 cases pushed the positivity ratio to 12.93%, the highest ever in the last two years, 23 deaths were also reported on previous Friday.
After registering a drop in daily coronavirus infections for two consecutive days, Pakistan has once again recorded a significant surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths as the virus fuelled by Omicron variant spread throughout the country.
As per the latest NCOC data, after the addition of 30 new deaths the overall toll has now surged to 29,192 whereas the number of total infections now stood at 1,402,070 after adding the fresh 8,183 cases.
During the last 24 hours (Thursday), 68,624 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 11.92 percent. The number of patients in critical care was 1,353.
During the last 24 hours (Thursday), as many as 1,786 patients have recovered from the virus whereas the total recoveries stood at 1,274,657. As of Friday, the total count of active cases in the country was recorded at 98,221.
As many as 535,965 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 471,925 in Punjab, 189,300 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 123,648 in Islamabad, 34,187 in Balochistan, 36,465 in Azad Kashmir and 10,580 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Moreover, 13,132 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab so far, 7,785 in Sindh, 5,989 in KP, 979 in Islamabad, 752 in Azad Kashmir, 367 in Balochistan and 188 in Gilgit Baltistan.
Karachi recorded its highest-ever positivity ratio of 46.58% also on last Friday.
“Amid rising trend of disease across the country a ban on indoor dinning in cities/districts with positivity above 10% has been imposed with effect from January 21,” said a notification issued by (NCOC).
About 70 million people in Pakistan, or 32% of the population, have had two vaccine doses. The infection numbers are lower compared to other countries, such as neighbouring India – but Pakistan tests 50 to 60 thousand people a day with a population of 220 million compared to India where around 1.9 million tests are being done per day.
Here are the global developments in the coronavirus crisis:
– Covid pill for Europe –
The EU’s drug watchdog approves Pfizer’s coronavirus pill, making it the first oral antiviral treatment for the disease to be authorised in Europe.
– Omicron holds down US growth –
US economic growth rebounded to 5.7 percent in 2021, the biggest increase since 1984, but the hit from the Omicron Covid variant held down fourth quarter recovery.
– England lifts restrictions –
Commuters troop back to the office, as England lifts virus restrictions, with masks no longer required in enclosed places and vaccine passports shelved.
– New Delhi eases curfew –
New Delhi ends a weekend curfew, reopens restaurants and allows markets to operate at full capacity, as the Omicron variant outbreak slows.
– Hong Kong cuts quarantine –
Hong Kong shortens its controversial quarantine for international travellers from three weeks to two.
– Catalonia ends Covid passport –
Spain’s north-eastern Catalonia region drops the need for a Covid passport to enter restaurants, bars and gyms.
– Ukraine case record –
Ukraine reports a record number of 32,393 daily coronavirus cases as it faces a new wave of infections driven by Omicron.
– Sweden against jabs for 5-11s –
Sweden’s health authority says it will not recommend Covid-19 jabs for all five to 11 year olds, the country again choosing a different Covid policy to much of Europe.
– Canadian PM self-isolates –
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has been exposed to Covid-19 and will isolate for five days, in accordance with health rules for vaccinated people.
– McDonald’s profits up on curb easing –
McDonald’s reports higher profits on price increases and fewer impacts from Covid-19 restrictions, while its results in China were dented by a resurgence in the virus.
– LVMH blows past pandemic –
LVMH more than recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, posting record sales of 64.2 billion euros ($71.5 billion) and net profit of 12 billion euros in 2021.
– 5.6 million dead –
The coronavirus has killed at least 5,625,889 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources on Thursday.
The US has recorded the most Covid deaths with 876,066, followed by Brazil with 624,413, India on 491,700 and Russia 328,770.
Taking into account excess mortality linked to Covid-19, the WHO estimates the overall death toll could be two to three times higher.